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VFW Magazine April 2017 : Page 11

and Peace: Centennial Commemoration of U.S. Entry into World War I, will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., on the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into the Great War. Anniversaries of specific events of the war, including major engagements of U.S. forc-es, key local dates and the signing of the armistice, also will be marked and observed throughout the nation. More infor-mation regarding the events can be found at ww1cc.org/events . During the period of April 6, 2017, to July 26, 2019, the commission, created by Congress on Jan. 19, 2013, intends to remember and honor America’s 4.7 million World War I vet-erans for their service and sacrifice during the Great War. Its duties include, but are not limited to: • Encouraging private organizations and state and local governments to organize and participate in activities commemorating the centennial. • Serving as a clearinghouse and permanent archive for the collection and dissemination of information about events and plans for the World War I centennial. • Developing recommendations for Congress and the president for commemorating the centennial of World War I. Dr. Matthew Naylor, president and CEO of the National WWI Museum and Memorial, said the aftereffects of the war were so significant that the nation gathered in the heartland of America to honor the nation’s Great War veterans. Interest was so intense that a crowd of some 200,000 attended the orig-inal groundbreaking ceremony for the National WWI Liberty Memorial in 1921. “The reason America decided to declare war was not for the glory of war — it was the shared value — to make the world safe for democracy, which has a profound impact,” Naylor said. “The common values of the nation united the country.” Commissioner Monique Seefried is president of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation, which honors the 167th Alabama Infantry Regiment’s participation in WWI. She said it is important to understand the debates occurring at the time of the war “and how the United States truly united when the war started.” “Our shared goal was to bring peace to a world that had become inflamed,” Seefried said. World War I, commonly referred to as the “Great War,” ulti-mately shaped the rest of the American 20th century — influ-encing areas such as civil rights, women’s suffrage, military traditions and protocol, technology, medicine and soldier ben-efits. The commission will unpack this history during the ongo-ing centennial commemoration. For more information on the commission, visit WW1CC.org/tools . J EMAIL magazine@vfw.org Quartermaster General urges VFW involvement in centennial initiatives VFW Quartermaster General Debra Anderson urges VFW Posts across the nation to “remember and honor our long-gone comrades, who were all young once, too.” “More than 4 million Americans served in uni-form during the Great War, and more than 100,000 lost their lives,” said Anderson, who was sworn in to the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission in October. “It’s important to remember their service and sacrifice.” There are many ways for VFW Posts to get involved, such as rededicating local memorials, distributing and planting poppy seeds and hosting educational and remembrance events, especially if a Post is named after a World War I veteran. Anderson, a 1991 Persian Gulf War veteran, served for 13 years in the Army, earning the Bronze Star and Southeast Asia Service medals, among others. She said VFW believes it’s important “to remember all who serve our country and particularly those who made the ultimate sacrifice.” “I’m excited about the Centennial Commission’s edu-cational programs and the 100 Cities/100 Memorials preservation project,” Anderson said. The 100 Cities/100 Memorials program, which will offer 100 grants to restore WWI memorials countrywide, is a way for VFW members to “get involved in helping their communities remember our veterans of World War I,” according to Anderson. “On a personal note, being married to a historian, I have visited many American memorials both in the United States and Europe,” Anderson said. “They are solemn reminders of the cost of war and give us perspec-tive on our history.” Anderson sits on the U.S. World War One Centennial Commission with the following people: Col. Robert Dalessandro, Edwin Fountain, Jerry Hester, Col. Thomas Moe, John Monahan, Dr. Libby O’Connell, Maj. Gen. Alfred Valenzuela, Dr. Monique Brouillet Seefried, Dr. Matthew Naylor and ambassador Tod Sedgwick. FIVE: Sign up for the dis-patch newsletter to receive weekly updates on current events and history of WWI. SIX: Join the commis-sion for its weekly WWI Centennial News show. SEVEN: Learn about the U.S. WWI Memorial at Pershing Park in Washington, D.C. (See p. 34 for more.) EIGHT: Share WWI commemora-tive events in the national event register. NINE: Volunteer to help your state committee. APRIL 2017   • WWW.VFW.ORG • 11

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